Regardless of what you’ve been told about the mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, it’s easy to get misled by fast moving stories that are false. No matter how the information is presented, there are still many questions that the media, politicians, and the public need answered.
After a week of hearing news conferences and politicians talk about the shooting, there are several key points that need to be discussed. For one, why did it take so long for law enforcement to enter the building and neutralize the threat?
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said, “No one mentioned the fact that there was this 45-minute to an hour hold by the chief of the police of the school district while there were still shots being fired.” Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) said that he felt “misled” and livid when learning about the police waiting to enter the building while the shooter was still shooting.
Department of Public Safety (DPS) Steve McCraw originally said that an on site school police officer “engaged” the shooter before he entered the building.
Later, McCraw said that the officer in question responded to the school and ultimately passed by the shooter who was “hunkered down” behind a vehicle. The officer then mistook a teacher for the shooter.
There was also a claim by McCraw that there was a door propped open by a teacher and that’s how the shooter got into the school. McCraw said that there was video evidence of this but state police said that the teacher went to the door and closed it before the shooter entered the building. Ultimately, it seems that the door didn’t lock properly.
McCraw claimed that law enforcement engaged the shooter very early on in the incident saying, “They did engage immediately. They did contain [the gunman] in the classroom.”
This was proven false several days after the initial report from McCraw. It was discovered that over an hour had passed before police entered the school to engage the shooter because police mistakenly believed that the shooter was barricaded rather than actively harming students.
The claim that the police officers weren’t well equipped enough to enter the building was also false. Chief Pete Arredondo ordered the officers to stay out of the classroom instead of engaging with the shooter. Arredondo had just attended an 8-hour active shooter class in December 2021 that should have given him knowledge on how to handle these types of situations.
To add to the confusion, it took local law enforcement several days to respond to misleading information put out by DPS. Not making statements about a critical incident that left 19 children dead is unacceptable from local law enforcement.